What causes PTSD? Post-traumatic stress disorder develops if you have experienced a traumatic or life-threatening situation that triggers a “flight or fight” response. While some people never recover from a traumatic event, recovery is possible with the right treatment.
PTSD causes can range from military combat and car accidents to abuse, assault, or witnessing a natural disaster. You may also suffer from PTSD causes such as sudden death or injury. Regardless of your trauma, you can seek trauma therapy for PTSD at a PTSD treatment center in Portland, OR.
Common PTSD Causes
You may be wondering what causes PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with the short and long-term psychological effects of trauma. Even if you are not harmed in trauma, the fear or stress you experience may be enough to triggers anxiety, depression, paranoia, or self-doubt.
Common PTSD causes include:
- Fear of death while experiencing or witnessing a trauma
- Unresolved feelings after the death of a loved one
- Worrying that something bad will happen long after the trauma has ended
- Ongoing subjection to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Engaging in military combat one or more times
- Witnessing violence or the death/injury of someone else
You may not be equipped to handle such events psychologically. As a result, you eventually develop a mental disorder that you are unable to manage.
(What Causes PTSD? Find out more about PTSD and other mental disorders by reading our rehab blog.)
Why Does PTSD Develop?
What causes PTSD may not be clear until you understand the connection between your trauma and your mental disorder. PTSD can happen immediately. However, you may not notice how or why it develops until several months or years after the event. There are several reasons why PTSD develops, including:
Most of us are born with some type of survival mechanism – something that helps us cope with threatening situations. A traumatic situation can cause you to use your survival mechanism even when there is no need. You may react quickly to a normal situation that causes you to feel threatened. You react this way because you don’t want the trauma to happen again.
Abnormal Stress Hormones
Studies about PTSD reveal that victims have abnormal stress hormone levels. High adrenaline production may be a contributing factor to what causes PTSD after the trauma. When you feel scared, paranoid, or threatened, your body creates unusually high levels of adrenaline that can lead to panic attacks or anxiety disorder.
Changes in Brain Function
Brain scans show that people with PTSD have a smaller hippocampus – a part of the brain responsible for memory and emotions. The decrease in the hippocampus may be due to fear and anxiety, as well as flashbacks of the trauma. As a result, you may have more difficulty processing your memories. This is why nightmares or flashbacks may occur long after the trauma happened.
PTSD and Addiction
Addiction to drugs or alcohol may also be what causes PTSD. You may drink or take drugs as a way of self-medicating when you have anxiety or depression related to your trauma. However, chemical substances can make the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder even worse.
Substance abuse can alter brain function and hinder you from processing your trauma in a healthy way. If you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may want to seek help from an addiction treatment center in Portland, OR.
Treatment for PTSD is Available at Crestview Recovery
If you suffer from PTSD or have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you can get help at Crestview Recovery. We offer comprehensive treatment for what causes PTSD. To find out more about your treatment options, call us at 866.262.0531. We can get you on the path to recovery.